Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fashion Inspiration for the Day

I am obsessed with this chick's look, as captured by The Sartorialist. So so effortlessly chic! I am totally in love with her boots! And she makes me wanna banish my flat iron and break out the curling iron.

Update: I got this Alloy catalog in the mail, and there are these boots for just $39.50 that could be dead-ringers for the ones this Parisian chick is wearing.

Close enough? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Déjà Vu

Back in the 90s, I begged my Mom to buy me 8-hole Doc Martens. They were THE shoes to wear. If you weren't in Docs, you might as well be barefoot. I wore mine with granny dresses and flannel shirts. They are part of my history.

So it scares the sh*t out of me that they are making a comeback. You know what they say about not wearing a re-hashed trend if you wore it the first time around. Holy crap. Am I that ancient? I prefer to go by the analysis that the fashion cycle is just getting shorter and shorter. Who thought of that? Oh, old fashion hags like me.

While browsing in the Union Square Shoemania last week, I saw a pair that I might wear should I dip into this trend again. They were a lighter silver than the pair above and in a very distressed finish. Awesome actually. Could seduce me into stepping into a granny dress or a plaid shirt, most probably. But since I've supposedly evolved over the last *teen years, I'd wear them with grannies and flannies more like these:

Both dresses are from Urban Outfitters by Charlotte Ronson. Dress on the left will set you back $242 while the dress on the right is on sale for $69.99.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Discount Alert!

I haven't seen a decrease in shopping as an effect of the economic downturn, but maybe that's because the tourists inundating NY stores camouflage the ailing economy. I was in stores all weekend, and there seemed to be no shortage of women trying on Louboutins and Marc Jacobs bags. But I'm sure retailers are feeling the crunch because there's been an inordinate amount of sale and discount notices popping up in my inbox.

As my own contribution to encourage people to "do the patriotic thing" and shop, I thought I'd start posting discount lists on the blog. I'm regulating my own spending to save up for a Europe trip, but far be it for me to deny my lovely friends. Here's what you can save on today:

Saks has a Spend Some, Get Some online promo going on until October 23. You get a gift card back depending on the amount spent. If you were to get the sumptuous Zagliani python clutch below for instance, you would receive a $100 gift card for spending $1600. Just type OCTOBER8 at checkout.

At Bluefly, shop like a Gossip Girl and get 15% off. Bluefly has grouped together pieces inspired by S's luxe boho style and B's prep princess look. I don't know if I agree with their picks, but the promo's a great way to get the price on this awesome Bulga bag further down from its already low $446.25 price.

Bebe has merch at up to 50% off! Now I'm not typically a Bebe shopper but every now and then I find flashes of brilliance in their merchandising. I am of the mind that their stuff is a tad overpriced, but when on sale, why not? I'm liking this little flowered silk skirt now priced at $52.19 (It used to be $98.00—can you believe that?). I wasn't much into floral stuff last Spring but they somehow seem so fresh now. This skirt with chunky grey tights and Ann Demeulemeester-esque boots would look hot.

Chloé via Billion Dollar Babes! You need a print out of the Billion Dollar Babes invite for this one, so methinks you'll have to sign up to get it. From Thursday, October 23 to Saturday, October 25, the Chloé boutique on Madison Ave. is taking 25% off everything except Paraty bags, fragrances and sunglasses. Since Paraty bags are excluded and I can't shop anyway, I hope someone reading this will end up with a gorgeous Bay bag or something equally fab!

Shopbop for one day only! Take 20% off any purchase using the code TREATS2008. If you've been waiting to get your hands on something awesome like this Mike & Chris leather jacket, the price goes from $902 to $721.60 today! You've got til 11:59PM darlings.

That's it for today. More to come, I'm sure, unless Dubai starts an adopt-an-American-shopper program ...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cashmere Rocks

After a week of delicious sunshine and perfectly crisp temps, we had a chilly weekend so I finally succumbed and bought the black version of this cashmere wrap from Club Monaco:

Club Monaco currently has this promo that runs until tomorrow, October 20, wherein they give you back $50 when you purchase merch worth over $150 (Go. Now. You won't regret it.). This beige wrap costs $239 but the black and grey versions are just $179. I thought the $50 off deal was a sign, so I took the plunge and am sooooo glad I did.

I wore my cash wrap for a night out at the Gansevoort Hotel rooftop and it was wonderful. It kept me warm enough when we ventured out into the open area for some air and a good chat. It also withstood an idiotic drunk chick spilling an appletini on it. I was livid and quickly sopped up the mess with napkins. Thankfully cashmere is not highly absorbent so the liquid just sort of chilled on the surface til I wiped it up and there was no trace of it later on.

So I am smug, snug and loving my wrap! Chill-proof and drunk-chick-proof. What more can I ask for?

UPDATE: The downside to being wrapped in this plush cashmere is that it's making me want to take a nap right at my desk ...

The Shopping Crawl

I took a mini break from blogging and actually had a life this past week. I've also really been working my ass off to meet an an impending website launch—so to my lovely friends who've been chorusing, "Do you do any work at all? You blog SO MUCH!" here's proof that YES I do!

This Dutch storm called Johan also blew into NY for a little over a week so I've been busy throwing gorgeous women at him to convince him to move here from Amsterdam. I have also been busy witnessing him continue his retail onslaught. These European men do love their shopping. So I trolled Macy's, Bloomies and Saks all weekend long while Johan blew his Euros away.

Macy's was a nightmare of tourists and Ed Hardy merch. Saks was heavenly with its stupendous shoe salon. But Bloomies? At Bloomies today, I learned the meaning of unrequited love.

Within Bloomies' perfumed halls, I met the Chloé Paraty bag. There it was in all its sumptuous black python glory. I got to touch it, sling it over my shoulder and place it on the crook of my arm, and I all but swooned. It is BEAUTIFUL. The python is soooo soft to the touch, but the bag retains its structure when you're wearing it (Unlike my beloved Paddington hobo which slouches into a lovable but mushy leather mass). Best of all, it is not heavy at all. It is so compact but still a substantial size.

With it's $4000 price tag and legions of adoring fans though, I know Miz Paraty and I probably do not have a future together. Sigh. For once in my life, I understand how Katie Holmes got lured into this Scientology mess. All they have to do is dangle a Paraty in front of me and I'd probably walk straight into a life full of barley water and aliens too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Original Cougar

After days of partying with my brother-from-another-mother Johan and hours slaving away at the UN (I do too work despite what my rapid-fire blogging may imply), I was too exhausted to do anything except curl up on the couch with a movie today. I watched Blair and Serena whack each other with clutches on GG, then turned on The Graduate, which I'd received in the mailbox from good ol' Blockbuster a few days ago.

For me, this movie was all about Anne Bancroft. I watched the smooth, sexy and polished Mrs. Robinson and thought, "That's what I want to look like in my 40s. Perfectly coiffed hair, sexy garters and leopard print everywhere, all the time!" I'll take it minus the below 21 boytoy though ... or so I say right now. Haha I kid! I adore leopard print. It never really goes out of style, and it encapsulates classy and sexy when worn in the right cut (leopard print cycling shorts not being one of them). I've been obsessing about finding the perfect leather jacket for weeks, but one look at Mrs. Robinson and I am suddenly smitten with the thought of a leopard print coat. Forget Kate Moss in leopard print—Mrs. Robinson rocks it harder.
Does anyone know where one can find a nice leopard print coat? I am shite at vintage shopping, so that might not be a realistic option for me. I think the perfect coat would be this Elizabeth & James coat from last year. I might have to explore eBay for this ... I heart it ...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The sales and giveaways will come to YOU

For real! My friend Louele is an ANGEL and sent me an invite to join Ideeli, and I've been witnessing the perks for the last few days. Ideeli (pronounced "ideally") calls itself a "members-only shopping community." So, obviously, you must be invited by a member to join. Once you're through the virtual velvet ropes, you receive regular email alerts about exclusive Ideeli sales taking place. The sales are rapid-fire—from my experience, items are on sale for about 8 hours and can be anywhere from 50-90% off. Since joining, there's been a Chaiken sale and a Lanvin sale looms in the horizon. Exciting stuff!

Plus there are also pretty nifty giveaways! Today, for instance, members were vying to win this baby, the Arena Giant Pompon bag by Balenciaga. I heart ...

Good stuff, eh?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Brrrrr ....

Seeing a rerun of Chicago and feeling the mercury dip has got me thinking about fur. I mean just look at Catherine Zeta Jones in that scene above. She just looked SO elegant that it got me obsessing a bit.

The thing is, I'm not sure I can get up the nerve to wear fur. Last year, when I was interning at Tuleh, I was tasked one day with organizing the fur bins (verrry reminiscent of Little J being tasked with matching up a box of buttons at her internship in Gossip Girl). For a few seconds, it was actually enjoyable to run my fingers through the plush fur samples ... until I pulled up a bundle of exquisite white fur that still had the critters' heads, paws and tails on it!!! I died—and not in a Rachel Zoe way.

A cashmere silk blend cardigan with mink collar by Tuleh at Neimans.
The little minkie and I could've been friends once. Creeps!

At that moment I was convinced that I could never ever ever wear fur. But these days, I don't know ... maybe I'm getting over my trauma? I found a financially viable fur piece at Neimans: a fox fur collar for $180. Looks so snug and cozy ... I could spring for a $200+ Missoni scarf to keep me warm OR get real fox fur for much less. IF I can get the image of those poor little critters strung up ... crap, I'm still traumatized. I'm gonna need therapy to get through this, and I don't think retail therapy counts! PS: If I had more money and less of a conscience, I'd love to have this reversible shearling coat by The Row at Barneys for $3750. Those damn Olsens think of everything!

PPS: My boyfriend just offered to buy me the fur collar so maybe I will go for it! However he has had 5 Long Island iced teas, a mojito, gin & tonic, two beers and God knows what else all while jet-lagged so I'll check again when he's sane tomorrow ...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ready for a Spook?

Ok venturing into un-chic territory here, but Halloween is a very very very important event in New York so I've been thinking of what costume to wear this year. My Starbucks barista costume has been very good to me but has been used for a Halloween and 2 German Karnevals, so it's gotta retire.

1. Characters that make sense with my hair color, because getting dressed up is tiresome enough without wondering if blond hair goes with my complexion (it doesn't, not any shade)
2. Not too slutty because New York is full of crazies!
3. No Lolita costumes cos I would probably look like the real thing and I don't feel like hearing "Me love you long time!" all night long

So here are my choices:

I have been IN LOVE with the Rainbow Brite costume since I saw it on this girl in Jersey in 2006. I totally heart it. It's the priciest at 64.99 but it does come with those super cute legwarmers, while other costumes don't come with stockings.

I thought Snow White would be cute too since I already have the uber pale skin and dark hair. And its an excuse to wear the beribboned thigh highs (sold separately but less than $7). And she has a cape!

Then I realized why not dress like Strawberry Shortcake when I look like her all winter long anyway. I wish it really came with those striped tights though cos they're awesome.

The Madhatter costume? Cos the hat's cool.

Costumes 1, 3 and 4 all at They have some really cute accessories too if you want to go the extra mile. Costume 2 at Target.

What are you wearing for Halloween? Only 25 days left people!

UPDATE: I just ordered my costume! Was gonna post the photo but that's no fun ... I'll show y'all on Halloween! For those hunting down costumes and not wanting to spend over $30, try Amazon. Mine cost $27.69 and ended up being around $32 with shipping. Good luck kiddies!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Boot Hunt Continues

I got some good feedback last time on the Frye over-the-knee boots I was craving so I thought I would post this new shoe that I'm liking to see if 1 or 2 people have any thoughts. I NEED flat boots because, well, I live in New York and there's no other way to run around the city. And I am back to wanting shorties after trying on over-the-knee boots today and realizing they're not that comfy when one is just 5 feet tall and change. I think these Colin Stuart cuffed motorcycle booties from Victoria's Secret are a great deal. They have a sufficient amount of hardware, and would look so cool with leggings or just tights and a dress. Best of all, they're leather and just $88! I want them in black.

Thoughts??? Please???

No wonder ...

The black Colin Stuarts are completely unavailable on the Victoria's Secret website and I understand why. I may get struck with fiery stilettos by the fashion gods, but I like them even better than the studded booties by Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. And the fact that they're just $98 while the Choos are $1050 and the Louboutins are $895 doesn't even have anything to do with it. The Colin Stuart booties have been floating around in blogland for months now, and rightly so. They're hot.

Hard Times Shopping

I'm in a pickle. This economic meltdown is making me rethink my shopping beliefs. I've been thinking and thinking about what to spend on to freshen up my Fall wardrobe. Today I wandered into the Target website and saw a few new, very chic, and oh-so-tempting pieces:

On the left, a sweater dress by Jonathan Saunders for Target retailing for $34.99. I am trying to steer clear of synthetics so it was good to know that despite this dress being 88% cotton and 12% nylon, the neck and armhole are 100% cotton—so no feeling itchy around the neck. I really don't want any more acrylic blends in my closet. They feel scratchy and have this strange paint-like smell that won't come off no matter how much Downy you throw in the laundry. I would like to limit sweater purchases to cotton and merino wool (even angora is banned for the itchy factor). Some cashmere but I don't want to spend tons on dry cleaning, so maybe just a cashmere cardie and scarf.

So this dress makes the cut. It's decently priced and would make a great everyday dress. What's putting me in a conundrum is that the dress' price is so close to the Anya Hindmarch bag and makes me think, well if I'm getting the dress why not the bag too? It's a BAG and costs just $10 more. And Anya has made a diffusion line bag that is so faithful to the original. Check out the Target version and the original Shirley side-by-side below:

Not bad, eh? But the idea of bringing a PVC bag home pains me. I reasoned with myself that maybe this can be my rainy weather bag—no love lost if it gets soaked in the NY rain that likes to come at you from the side, rendering umbrellas useless. However I got to thinking that in today's tough times, it's frivolous to spend on something you know you won't touch after one season. I have a brown PVC bag by Rafé for Target that hasn't seen the light of day since I got my brown Paddington hobo last year. That was a steal for $450 at a sample sale, and worth every penny because I use it all the time and love it as much as I did when I first bought it. Maybe instead of shopping for little cheap pieces, the more responsible thing to do is save up that money and buy a quality bag that will last me decades. In tough times, it looks like my shopping credo should be, "Invest—no more throwaways." So no to Anya, and yes to hitting up more sample sales in the hope of digging up another treasure.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Growing up with J.Crew

Real life crept up on me today and hit me with all this grown up b*ll like pension and insurance contributions. I lost a chunk of my monthly shopping fund just like that! I know, I know, it's all really important stuff and ultimately for my own good. But it's tough to acknowledge that my 6-month spending spree is over! I have to grow up!

But if I have to grow up, can I do it in this fabulous little ensemble from J.Crew? I almost feel slighted that J.Crew came up with a look I love so much when I can't afford it. I just love love love the look of the chunky knitted vest ($198) belted over a tissue-thin turtleneck dress. And they just had to add gray leather opera gloves ($130). I love opera gloves! I love this outfit so. It's the perfect example of grown up dressing without having to give up all style and spunk. Plus it looks SO comfy.

If I can't actually grow up, see, I can at least dress the part right?


This bag totally put a smile on my face. I'm a sucker for all things cute and embellished, and this clutch is just that. I love the quirky vintage vibe of the Marc Jacobs Flower Suede Secret Girl clutch. It is made out of plum colored leather and suede with contrast topstitching, and is rocking a massive amethyst atop an Art Deco-style flower. It is not quite a steal at $995 at Saks, so I will be admiring it from afar. But pretty things so brighten up my day ...

Like a Rockstar

Last night I headed down to the LES to watch my friend Paul and his band play a gig at Nublu. It was such an awesome moment since we used to drop in at Nublu to see other awesome bands perform. To be in there watching him play this time was surreal. Congratulations Paul!

The thought that I was going to go see a band that night somehow influenced my shopping choices for the day, I think. I was out with Manila Fashion Observer's Tin yesterday and we hit up H&M and Old Navy to stock up on basics like plain cotton tees and tanks. (We also saw some amazing exhibitions the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum. More on that later.) I snagged a pretty cool knit hat at the men's section in H&M for about $12. So happy to have found a structured knit cap which does not make me look like Strawberry Shortcake (a constant problem). Why do the guys always have better stuff?
I apologize for the hastily taken picture. I am still using my iPhone, and really need to invest in a camera with a self-timer to take proper pictures of myself.

On my way home, I stopped by Urban Outfitters on the UES. I'm in love with the sheer white v-neck tee that I got there, but couldn't find other desirable colors in my size. I thought I would come out unscathed but I stopped at a bowl full of rings and found this:

It was a good compromise to the Elizabeth & James ring that I've been wanting (below). My new ring doesn't have the same raw, organic feel which makes E&J's hammered gold bronze ring über cool. The Urban Outfitters ring does have the rocker chic vibe that I'm looking for though. $16 versus E&J's $125? I'd definitely take the cheap chic version for now ...
PS: I realized that if I lived in the LES, I'd have rubber/leather leggings by now. If Paul's band keeps booking these sick gigs, I will have to get a pair.

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